11 abril 2007


"rettet die wale und stürtz das system...
liebe jeden tag..."

-salva a las orcas y desecha el sistema...
haz el amor todos los día...-

"My father always wanted a boy," explains Eva Jantschitsch, "so he used to call me 'Gustav' until I was at least three." The 26-year-old Austrian fine arts student seems to translate anarchist praxis into audacious - yet intimate - synth rock. Though actually, there is a lot more to it. Unlike most post-Le Tigre satellites, whether rhyming along to Hakim Bey, droning against patriarchy, or recalling Carlo Guliani (who was killed at the G8 conference in Genoa), Jantschitsch's approach is both nonreactionary and subtly humorous. Indeed, her sunny, heavily accented voice, wrapped in a digital orchestral sound, often cracks as if she can't help laughing, welled up with the belief that we can ultimately make a so-called 'better world'. "Let's keep it blurred and kitschy," she jokes.

To make it clear: we are dealing with a talented singer and producer used to great many performances in various groups and collectives in which various members both compose and play their music. Unfortunately, however, the 'female singer' epithet reduces Eva Jantschitsch to a mere vocalist, something which this artist does not hold with at all. The Gustav project thus stems from an emancipatory need to exist as a complete authoress. At the same time, the male name of the project neutralises the original moment of a female at the forefront of the predominantly male backdrop that is music scene/industry, which in itself provides the possibility for different scenarios.

The electronic music scene has an overwhelmingly masculine countenance: organisers, writers, sound designers, journalists, reviewers etc., are for the most part men. This exerts a strong influence on creative work and modes of expression, despite the possibilities and abilities that allow the female artist to join such a dominancy-characterised context. Therefore Jantschitsch
believes that events, such as Ladyfest as well as other cities of women, are unconditionally essential as projects that revolt against the general practise of the Cultural Industry.

"Save the whales, overthrow the system," urges Gustav, laying out the path towards a non-consumptive way of life. By citing Brian Eno, Talking Heads, Nina Simone, Tom Waits and Laurie Anderson as musical influences, she differs from contemporary IDM musicians, and her aired intimate/active synth draws out an authentic canvas on which both activist as well as humorously ironic colours are painted.

Radically individual, neither Eva Jantschitsch nor Gustav invariably triggers negotiations with connotations of the notion, the idea, and the image of 'woman' when she becomes an image on stage or in the media. It is an extremely schizophrenic position when Gustav is repeatedly thrown back to 'being-object' despite her intense 'becoming-subject'. "As a woman on the stage I am merely a concept...."

-article públicat per Nina Spavatsky /Brandon Stosuy-

gustav artwork